By Marc Schultz

In spite of arguing unsuccessfully with my running app on the accuracy of the distances we cover, it has none the less been a part of my recent success in taking back my health. That, and my daughter’s newly found appreciation for make believe animals.

While slouched uncomfortably on the couch, she says to me “Dad, you should run like a unicorn.” I ask what that means, expecting I will get a very detailed yet incomprehensible answer. She however surprises me by simply demonstrating, prancing around in a circle like a ballerina – on all fours. Oddly enough it inspires me to get a running schedule going, mostly as a paternal reaction realizing my 7 year old has caught wind of complaints about my health.

For the better part of a year my weight has been climbing after a few challenging Crohn’s occurrences. I usually welcome a little increased weight, but when I saw it go from 168lbs to 185lbs, I thought my no carb, no sugar diet wasn’t all I needed to do. In a vlog interview with The New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell discusses his reasoning for having challenged Lebron James to an endurance run. He suggests that King James was built for a specific athletic task and that he might be able to claim victory over such an accomplished athlete, all in jest, of course. But in that conversation Gladwell relays his love for running mostly because his mind is always distracted, and only when he is running, can he get a clear moment to think.

When two friends tell me to join their community on a running app, both of whom have run marathons in the past year, I am somewhat indifferent, perhaps a little intimidated. Reluctantly I sign up and seek friends. Within a few days I find out many of my work colleagues are also on the app, and there it is, i’m on yet another social platform. But this time it’s different. I see all the running and biking my friends are doing, and I’m not. My 3k runs seem insignificant to the rest of the posts, in spite of the fact that 3k is still hard work for me at the time. Not wanting to be outdone, I start logging all my biking to work – 10k per day. Within 3 weeks I’m running 5 to 9k and lost 6lbs in a month.

Back on the couch, I suggest to my daughter that unicorns don’t need to run since they have magical powers. She says to me “but you’re not a unicorn”, and in an attempt to finish her thought for her, I say “but I could run like one?” She looked perplexed, like I need to rethink my choices when filling in her thoughts. Gladwell is right, when it comes to kids and unicorns, I need more time to think things through.

#running #weight loss #kids #gladwell